Newly aggressive behavoir in Silkie

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by collickchickens, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. collickchickens

    collickchickens New Egg

    Jun 12, 2016
    Northern Michigan
    Is this due to pecking order or just an a$$hole chicken? We have a silkie that is from what we can tell at the bottom of the pecking order of our flock. Recently she has started 'attacking' people when they are in the pen. Standing herself up tall, wings somewhat out and making lunging movements and then she'll come up behind or from the side and peck really hard. Two nights ago she ripped a hunk out of my arm Last night she got aggressive with one of my daughters. Any recommendations to nip this in the bud as I cant have her attacking the kids. They currently enjoy sitting in the pen handfeeding the chickens treats and petting them but I can see this no longer being fun if she continues her attacks.
  2. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2016
    Surrounded by the Amish
    I've heard of aggressive roosters but never hens. Most people will tell you if you have an aggressive chicken then just get rid of it. I have heard carrying your aggressive bird around in your arms for 10 to 15 minutes every day helps but I've never tried that
  3. This is not intended to start a big debate on playing with and holding Chickens...
    Anyways...Your hens are looking for treats and have matured...They can be bossy and most are....I have a Speckled Sussex that flies up at me and I have never held my Chickens, not even as Chicks....Kick them away with your leg..Not meaning hurt them but get them moving..Stop all hand feeding...

    Best Advise...
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    First, let's find out.....
    How are old these birds?
    How many birds total and are they all the same age?
    How big is coop in feet by feet?
    How old are your daughters and how much time do they spend hand feeding?

    Hand feeding can create some food aggression.
    Pecking and biting should not be allowed...but kicking the bird is not a good idea.

    If a bird pecks me, they get 'pecked' back on the head using my 'hand beak'(finger and thumb tips).
    Be fast and firm but not hard enough to really hurt them......
    ......and maybe follow them for a few more pecks as they move away.
    If that doesn't work after a few times, I hold them down to the ground using my hand on their back, with a few more 'pecks' with my other hand, until they submit to my dominance.

    I have seen young pullets(not called hens until one year of age) get aggressive and peck,
    have had a few of them that needed some schooling.
    Have also had older birds that were just 'not gentle' when hand feeding, that can hurt too.

    Oh, and Welcome to BYC!
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Sitting in the pen and hand feeding can turn into just this sort of behavior, especially if the initial signs of rudeness aren't noticed. I'm not a fan of doing this, although I will sit in the coop and enjoy the birds up close. I don't ever actually hand feed, and don't allow any bird to jump up on me. Ever. Are these young birds? Could this be a cockerel? Silkies can be harder to sex, and this sounds like very rude cockerel behavior. Either fix it very soon, or move this bird out of your life. Mary
  6. collickchickens

    collickchickens New Egg

    Jun 12, 2016
    Northern Michigan
    First, let's find out.....
    How are old these birds? They all hatched on May 3rd & 4th

    How many birds total and are they all the same age? We have a total of 6 chickens 5 hens & 1 roo, the roo is a silkie, the hens are 1 Swedish flower hen (seems to be the top of the pecking order) a bantam millie fluer, a bantam silkie cochin frizzle, and 2 silkies.

    How big is coop in feet by feet? The pen/run is 10 feet x 12 feet, the coop is 4 ft by 6 ft, we also have a tractor we put them into in various places around the yard that is 4 feet x 10 feet.

    How old are your daughters and how much time do they spend hand feeding? the girls are 10 years old & 13 years old, they don't spend a lot of time hand feeding but they do take treats out to them that they put onto the treat bowl we have in the pen. Its usually veggie scraps. When we are out there we will hold the chickens or let them sit in our laps and pet them. My husband is the one that is more prone to hand feeding them.

    One other thought I had is my younger daughter and I are more apt to pick up a chicken and hold it to pet it where as my older daughter and husband just let them hop into their laps then pet them. I was wondering if she truly is the bottom of the pecking order she doesn't like being picked up and "made to do something else she doesn't want to do like when the other hens push her around" or am I just putting people feelings onto a chicken.

    Thanks for all your suggestions!!
  7. PingoBags

    PingoBags Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2016
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    That's how I ended up with one pullet that keeps biting the end of my finger when I put it through the run, by hand feeding.
    I stopped all that now.
    The smallest pullet I have always jumps on my knee, she has done it from a very young age.
    I don't mind it at all. The only thing she tries to bite is my earring if she manages to get on my shoulder.

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